Renew Our Rivers two-time winner of Keep America Beautiful National Litter Prevention Award

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Jan. 2, 2007 - For the second time, the Renew Our Rivers volunteer cleanup campaign has received a national award from Keep America Beautiful. Alabama Power and other Southern Company operating companies earned first place in the Litter Prevention Award category.

In 2006, more than 1.7 million pounds of trash were removed from Alabama lakes and waterways through Renew Our Rivers.

Keep America Beautiful presents the annual award for Litter Prevention to organizations and groups that demonstrate an effective partnership, serve to change attitudes and behaviors and make a significant impact in communities and states to promote litter prevention and removal.

Renew Our Rivers began as a small community river cleanup in 2000 in Gadsden and has since spread to Mississippi, Georgia and Florida. In 2006, there were 26 scheduled river cleanups in Alabama alone, with more than 6,000 volunteers participating. The grassroots effort has involved homeowner and boat-owner associations, environmental groups, federal agencies, schools, civic organizations and Alabama Power employees.

"We continue to be inspired and encouraged by the impact Renew Our Rivers is having across the Southeast," said Alabama Power President and CEO Charles McCrary. "It is truly a gift to our communities that keeps on giving, and we will continue to commit our time and resources to this worthy effort in 2007.”

The Renew Our Rivers cleanup program continues to expand and garner national attention. In December 2002, Keep America Beautiful first presented the national litter prevention award to Renew Our Rivers. In 2004, the group recognized Alabama Power employee Gene Phifer with its Volunteer Leadership Award for his role in launching Renew Our Rivers. In 2003, Renew Our Rivers was recognized with the Water Conservationist of the Year award from the Alabama Wildlife Federation.

“This national recognition shows what can be achieved when everyone works together for one cause: to clean and protect the environment,” said Alabama Power’s Vice President of Environmental Affairs Willard Bowers. “This program has been successful because of the public’s dedicated involvement and commitment to improving the lakes and rivers in the Southeast.”

Keep Etowah Beautiful submitted the nomination for the latest award to Keep America Beautiful. “We feel honored to be a part of Renew Our Rivers and its amazing success,” said Lisa Dover, executive director of Keep Etowah Beautiful.

Alabama Power owns and operates 14 hydroelectric plants in Alabama, providing clean, low-cost electricity. The facilities also provide more than 150,000 acres of water and more than 4,000 miles of shoreline for the public's use and enjoyment.